This article is one of many that has speculated about a trade involving Ales Hemsky and the Detroit Red Wings. Hemsky has often been linked to the Red Wings this season, but is there a deal that makes sense? Probably not.
The last article among those links points out that Detroit would be unwilling to part with their top prospect Brendan Smith in exchange for Hemsky. Smith is a former university standout who was selected 27th overall back in the Gagner draft (2007) and is regarded as a high end offensive-defenseman. He posted 12-20-32 in his first full AHL season last year, and had improved to 5-12-17 in 28 games this year. He earned a three game callup to the Red Wings where he notched two assists.
The Oilers will be looking to improve the backend if they move Hemsky out of town, but if Detroit keeps Smith off the table it will be hard to find a deal. Smith is the only defenseman in the Red Wings' top ten prospects, according to the 2011 THN Future Watch, and there isn't really one on the roster that fits except maybe Jakub Kindl. Kindl earned his first full NHL season this year after being drafted in 2005 and has posted 8 points in 32 games with a plus-8 rating. He's solid enough, but doesn't necessarily fill the Oilers' needs.
The Wings have over $5 million in cap space heading into the deadline, so they have plenty of wiggle room to add a scoring threat and one more top-six forward is exactly what they need.
If the Red Wings were willing to part with Gustav Nyquist (9-21-30 in 30 AHL games with Grand Rapids) or Tomas Tatar (10-19-29 in 34 AHL games) there might be the beginnings of a deal, but it would not really give the Oilers what they need. Such deals are only likely to happen if the Oilers had another bigger deal in mind that would occur later. That's not such a bad idea, since it would give the Oilers plenty of assets to acquire a defenseman who is even better than Brendan Smith.
But the sheer amount of moving parts make this scenario unlikely. Also, there will undoubtedly be other teams who are willing to give up more for Hemsky than the Red Wings will. If Detroit stands pat at the deadline they still have a good enough team to run with, which is not the case with other teams who would love to add a top-six forward.
Check out Oil Acumen on The Copper and Blue's Mid Season Roundtable.